A sew along with friends

In July my Sewingsansfrontieres friends, Hélène and Suzy, and I decided that we would do a sew along using bed linen as part of the Make a Garment a Month Joinupjuly on Instagram.

I had a couple of pieces of thrifted bed linen, one of which was this brand new cotton bed skirt, still in the packet and which cost 50cents. This has a large piece of plain white cotton and a rather nice “skirt part” which I was delighted to see was reversible.


I decided to use a pattern from the Japanese Sewing Book “Piecework” by Asuka Hamada


As the name suggests, this book is full of garments that are creatively pieced and every single pattern appeals. The only problem is that the patterns are all in Japanese, but they are perfectly manageable as the diagrams are so good.

I decided to make Pattern A, which is basically all triangles.


I cut them out and overlocked them and took them off to our holiday place to be joined together. Easy? I don’t think so!IMG_5021

This bed skirt was brand new when I bought it, but began to look tired very quickly due to the prodigious unpicking. Getting different sized triangles meeting perfectly at the points is not a skill of mine. Quilters can do this with their eyes shut, but I am no quilter. Pattern matching was also not a consideration I could indulge in. IMG_5028

I finished it, put it on, took lots of photos and couldn’t work out why it was wonky, as evidenced by the photos below.

A close examination showed uneven triangles – I had cut them in such a way that they grew (putting one on top of the other prior to cutting causes this).

I took the top apart and evened it up, but the back finished up shorter than the front. A normal person would ditch the top and start again, but I can’t do that, so I simply added a few triangles to the bottom back creating a kind of shirt tail.


The top has a slash neckline, which I found a bit high at the front, so I modified it slightly to lower it.


The rest of it is as per the pattern. I am quite pleased that the top is able to be layered so I’ve been able to wear it on sunny days this winter. I’m not a huge fan of boxy tops but I am sure I’ll wear this one quite a bit.

Bed linen make number two is also from Piecework.

I had a thrifted Ikea doona/duvet and four pillow cases. I admit that I bought these because there are 16 lovely fabric buttons and I figured that the $1 it cost me made the buttons good value.


So this was loitering in my stash and I thought I’d like to make this top.


The front is plain, but the back is lovely.


A really funny thing happened whilst I was writing this post. I looked at the picture above and thought that it looked different from my top – was it tucked into the shorts? No, it has elastic through the waist and I didn’t notice, in spite of it being obvious in all the illustrations. This meant that I had to redo all the photos after I had added the elastic The front view is fairly straightforward, plain and slightly cocoon shaped. It’s more obvious without the elastic


Here with the elastic


But the party is definitely in the back!


It looks better with the elastic inserted. I am pretending that my arms are out for balancing on the bearers of our new deck, but it’s not true, I was merely trying to show my pattern matching!


I had so much trouble matching the stripes so forensically examined the photos in the book and decided that they gave an impression of stripe matching rather than actual stripe matching. This was a big relief!

The neckline was too high again, so I lowered it, keeping the slashed neck, but rolling it down a bit in the front. I wore this top all day so it’s a bit wrinkled, and of course it’s before I inserted the elastic.


As I said at the beginning, this is a challenge I did with Hélène and Suzy and I wanted to show their makes too.

Suzy made the Fibremood Norma from a bedsheet, which I think looks fabulous with the green trousers.


Hélène made the Blaire dress in this beautiful striped fabric.



I really enjoyed my makes, and I loved talking to Hélène and Suzy about all our plans. This was such a fun challenge.



16 thoughts on “A sew along with friends

  1. All lovely! And the pattern matching on that striped top is eye boggling – I wouldn’t fancy having to iron it 😂

  2. Both are lovely! I always had problems with triangles when I quilted. Because of the edge cut on the bias, they tend to stretch as you work with them. Small triangles are troublesome, but I can just imagine big ones with weight! What a challenge!

    1. I kept thinking that quilters would sail through these makes! I really struggled and there was lots of unpicking and a fair bit of swearing! Thank you!!

  3. Oh, Sue! I like that you are “not a normal person” (just quoting you ;))) and I’m glad you did not throw away your project. Your perseverence is admirable and both of your tops look very designer-like and unique. The elastic at the base of the second one really improves the fit. I guess it would have been obvious if you could have read the instructions in Japanese but you got there anyway. About my dress, I would like to mention that this striped blue bed sheet was purchased with you at the local thrift shore we visited together when you came to Montréal last year, which makes this dress extra special for me. Thank you my friend xxx

    1. I forgot that you’d bought this when we went op shopping! I still have my scarf which I’m planning to make up this summer. I love your blaire dress, and want one now!

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